Symbolism In The White Goddess

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following. Graves’ book The white Goddess appealed both because of its festivity of poetry and of the idea of the poet but also because of his investigations into the mythical sources of the creation of poetry. The White Goddess – the basis of all poetry and of all life, the sublime muse – stands in direct contrast to the male, fatherly God of Christianity and rationalism. She is not stable and fixed but fluid and in continuous movement, symbolised by the phases of the moon. The moon goddess is, simultaneously, goddess of three stages of female existence – she is the virgin huntress of the new moon, the pregnant mother of the full moon and the wild hag of the fading moon. Her colours are white, red and black – whiteness being linked with purity but also with barrenness; red being connected with blood; both life blood and menstrual blood; and black being related with decay, death and mourning. Her element is the sea, she controls the tides and all liquids. She rules the Underworld and concerns of birth, reproduction and death; she rules the Earth and concerns of the changing seasons; she rules the Sky and concerns of the changing moon. The totality of the moon-goddess’ power meant that the power of a male god was negligible. She had a lover but his authority diminished every year as the power of the sun faded in late autumn, at the same time as her power remained constant. It is very easy to see why this mythology should hold such appeal. The symbols of the White Goddess can
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